ACS logoMelanoma is a cancer of the pigment producing cells in the skin, called as melanocytes. It is believed to be the most serious form of skin cancer. Pertaining to the above topic, researchers in Australia are accounting for development and testing in laboratory animals of a likely new material for detecting malignant melanoma.

About 130,000 new cases of malignant melanoma apparently arise every year all over the world. Patients could respond to treatment well, if they are detected in the early stages. The positron emission tomography (PET) scans sometimes used for diagnosis may occasionally fail to spot small cancers, thereby postponing diagnosis and treatment.

Ivan Greguric and colleagues, operating in the Cooperative Research Consortium for Biomedical Imaging Develop, an Australian Government funded research group, worked on this research.

The researchers apparently looked out for better ways of diagnosis. During the research, they found a new group of radioactive imaging agents known as fluoronicotinamides, which they tested in laboratory mice, who had melanoma. The researchers noted that this substance apparently exposed melanoma cells with more precision as compared to imaging agents presently in use.

Therefore, this substance could turn out to be a ‘superior’ PET imaging agent for enhancing the diagnosis and supervising the effectiveness melanoma treatment.

Clinical trials with this latest agent are supposedly now planned for 2010.

This research was published in the ACS’ Journal of the Medicinal Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.